devstruggle

Rebooting...

Life has a way of guiding you back to your own path, regardless of the detours you wander off onto. Judging by the timestamp at the botton of my last post (September 2018), one might surmise that this site was just another abandoned techie blog of the sort I've encountered so many times, particularly during the heyday of the web-dev 'portfolio' site that was immensely popular around 2011. Strangely, devstruggle.com was not at all forgotten. In fact, I thought about it nearly everyday, though none of my thoughts managed to reach the threshold to elicit a post. I've found my way back here, I'm now convinced, beacuse this was where I should've always been. I'd like to write that I've been away on some extended journey of self discovery, too filled with magic and color to allow time to write, and that I've only returned here to relate all the stimulating details. The truth is that I placed a link to this site on my LinkedIn page a year ago while I was still very excited to finally be blogging (and to misdirect ed-tech salespeople who had begun using LinkedIn for leads), listing my current employ as the site's editor, and a colleague recently told me that he had visited the site. I came here just to reminesce for a while, ended up re-reading all the posts, and realized that I had walked away from something that was perhaps on its way to being transformative. Reading my old posts "from the future", the original purpose of keeping a web journal like this actually came to fruition. I was able to see into my thought processes from the recent past, and recognize that many things that drove me at some point were still there, and that some of the angst it seems is ever present with me may arise from having lost touch with some of those things.

One post in particular stood out, the Deep Dive post, which found me focusing on C++ almost exactly one year ago. I never quite finished that challenge, so I'm setting a goal of circling back and finishing the Sam's Teach Yourself C++ in One Hour a Day book this week.

Secondly, I'm also making a point of finishing the 'primitive 2D game engine' project I started. Something I've discovered about learning is that often it simply takes time for some concepts to sink in. I recently began a project to build a network simulator using the HTML5 Canvas and JavaScript, and have managed to get the animations functional (post forthcoming). This has strangely left me in a state of relative confusion as JavaScript and Canvas have always eluded me. Every past attempt I've made at producing anything with them has found me giving up in frustration. This time, though the usual frustration presented, I was able to somehow struggle through and solve the problems that usually defeated me. A pivotal experience that I must point to explain what might have generated the change, is my enrolling Harvardx's CS50 MOOC available through edX. The course introduces Computer Science to students who may have never heard of it. Though I was familiar with the topics, I was particularly motivated to be successful in the course at the prospect of receiving a certificate of completion (with Harvard's name on it) at the end. The early assignments challenge you to use the C programming language to solve several challenges. Though the challenges required only basic C constructs, the solutions were not obvious and required significant effort. I managed to push through three problem sets that really challenged me and found myself empowered, recognizing that I actually enjoyed solving the challenges. In the midst of the struggle, it never occurred to me to give up, and when the solutions finally came, I was quite literally euphoric. I was forced to acknowledge that the statement I had heard from so many programmers, that they "love solving problems", actually applied to me. I had long loathed people who said this, as I never understood how building applications amounted to problem-solving, which I suppose exposes my lack of experience doing just that. I have until December to finish the CS50 course, which I fully intend to do, however I decided to take a break as the coursework was taking up too much of my free time. TO BE CONTINUED...

Written August 28th 2019, posted October 19th 9:05 P.M. CST